North Carolina Business Litigation Report

Sports Quest, Inc. v. Dale Earnhardt, Inc., 2004 NCBC 4 (N.C. Super. Ct. Mar. 12, 2004)(Tennille)

The Court granted summary judgment on plaintiff's claim for interference with prospective economic advantage. The Court found that there was a "high standard" for such a claim, and that plaintiff was required to show, with specificity, the future contracts that plaintiff would have obtained but for the alleged interference.

Plaintiff's claim for interference with its existing contracts also failed, because the alleged contracts were simply purchase orders from customers for goods. The mere acknowledgment or receipt of a purchase order does not create a contractual obligation.

Furthermore, the allegedly breaching party had acted in order to protect its legitimate business interests. Those included eliminating the plaintiff as a middleman for the sale of its goods, and controlling the sub-licensing of its intellectual property.

Full Opinion

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Mack Sperling
Brooks Pierce, LLP
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